Many individuals have made it big without having a college degree. Although educational qualifications may be seen as an important factor in getting ahead, they are by no means a prerequisite for becoming successful.
In fact, many entrepreneurs have achieved great success after dropping out of college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. And now more often than ever, entrepreneurs and kids in high school are fully focused on their startups and not even considering college as an option.
A perfect example of this can be seen with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates—as both dropped out of college and went on to become two of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business tycoons.
They each had unique visions that led them to create innovative products that revolutionized the tech industry, eventually leading them both to immense wealth.
In this article, we will highlight seven of the most success entrepreneurs and business founders who decided college wasn’t right for them — while also changing the world in the process!
Bill Gates – Microsoft Founder
Referred to as the “the greatest entrepreneur of the personal computer revolution”, Bill Gates is one of the most successful college dropouts in history.
He dropped out during his sophomore year at Harvard, leaving him with a degree from a prestigious university but no diploma. The Microsoft founder decided to take this opportunity and focus on launching his own company instead.
His dedication and passion for technology paid off when Microsoft eventually became a global phenomenon.
Steve Jobs – Apple Founder
At 19, Steve Jobs left Reed College after only attending one semester due to financial constraints and didn’t have someone to cosign a private student loan. However, he didn’t let that stop him from becoming an entrepreneurial success story.
Jobs believed that it was still possible to learn outside of traditional educational systems and devoted himself to self-learning and developing new ideas. His tenacity led to the creation of Apple, one of the most successful companies in the world today.
Larry Ellison – Oracle Founder
Larry Ellison’s journey to success was a long one. After dropping out from two universities, Ellison worked on multiple jobs as he gained experience and knowledge about computers.
He eventually founded Oracle Corporation in 1977 which quickly became an industry leader due to his innovative solutions and business strategies.
Mark Zuckerberg – Twitter Founder
Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard during his sophomore year in order to pursue what would become one of the most successful internet companies ever created – Facebook.
By 2008, the company had over 150 million users and its meteoric rise has continued until this day with more than 2 billion active monthly users.
Jack Dorsey – Twitter Founder
Jack Dorsey is the co-founder and CEO of both Twitter and Square, two of the most successful startups in recent history. He dropped out of NYU in 1999 after completing a single year out of his degree program to focus on programming and web design projects.
His commitment to taking risks paid off as both companies have become widely recognized with millions of users worldwide.
Michael Dell – Dell Founder
In 1983, Michael Dell attended the University of Texas. But instead of studying for classes, he chose to spend his time upgrading and selling computers in his dorm room.
This eventually led him to drop out at age 19 and establish what would become one of the largest personal computer makers in the world – Dell Incorporated.
Jan Koum – WhatsApp Founder
Jan Koum is the co-founder of WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014. He dropped out of San Jose State University to take a job as a security tester at Yahoo. While there, he developed an interest in mobile technology and eventually started WhatsApp with Brian Acton.
The company quickly became one of the most popular messaging apps on the market, allowing Koum to realize his dream of creating something that would make communication easier for people all over the world.
Making It in the World of Entrepreneurship With or Without College
These entrepreneurs serve as an inspiration for aspiring business owners who are willing to take risks and put in the hard work needed to achieve success. From Bill Gates’ revolutionary idea behind Microsoft, to Jack Dorsey’s creation of Twitter, these college dropouts went against all odds and turned their dreams into reality.
For entrepreneurs looking to understand the process of starting a business, attending college or dropping out can be confusing. It’s important to keep in mind that there are pros and cons to both options.
Attending college could give you access to knowledge and resources that would not necessarily be available elsewhere. You can gain valuable connections with professors, classmates, and alumni networks who may be able to help you launch your business idea.
Many colleges also have entrepreneurship programs that offer guidance and support for aspiring entrepreneurs. Additionally, having a degree under your belt may give investors more confidence in your abilities as an entrepreneur — however, as seen in the example above, the choice is completely up to you, and there is no right or wrong answer.
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